Tom Hanks is in talks to play Geppetto in Disney's live-action remake of Pinocchio. The Mouse House is currently running through their entire vault of classic and beloved animated movies (and making a fortune doing so), and Pinocchio will be the next in line alongside other adaptations like Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
The second animated movie from Walt Disney Animated Studios, Pinocchio is Disney's spin on the original character created all the way back in the 1883 children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. And, despite taking some liberties with the story, they successfully brought the character and his world to life, making it a standout entry in Disney's animated filmography. So, it should come as no surprise that Disney now intends to make a live-action remake of Pinocchio with Paddington 2 director Paul King.
According to a new report from Collider, it appears Disney is now in the very early stages of trying to get Tom Hanks involved. He is reportedly in talks to join Pinocchio as the film's Geppetto, the toymaker who creates the magical puppet and serves as the father figure for the toy. The report stresses that these talks are so early that it is not a guarantee that a deal will be made between Hanks and Disney due to Hanks' lofty salary.
Now that Pinocchio is in the casting stage, it signifies a major step forward for the production. Collider's report notes that Paddington 2 scribe Simon Farnaby is currently taking a crack at the script, which Rogue One's Chris Weitz previously wrote. They also confirm that production on Pinocchio is slated to begin next summer, so, assuming Hanks' involvement is confirmed, casting news shouldn't be too far off. What's more is that Disney has blocked off a March 2021 release for an unspecified project, making it a possible placeholder for Pinocchio.
With a reported $150 million budget, we can only hope that a deal is made for Hanks to come aboard. Not only is Hanks practically the perfect choice to play Geppetto, it would mark yet another iconic character or person that he has played in his storied career. He's played Walt Disney himself in Saving Mr. Banks and will play Mister Rogers in an upcoming movie. Tackling the role of Geppetto would return Hanks to a family-friendly tentpole, but this deal is still far from a guarantee, so fans of this potential casting decision should keep expectations in check for the time being.
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019